The excellent oral care includes brushing twice a day followed by flossing. Using mouthwash is a plus. Each has its benefits and cannot be used as a substitute for one other. A mouthwash is an excellent addition to this routine.
It helps prevent plaque, gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth decay, but only if you use them properly.
Mouthwash can reach areas a brush cannot, so there are added benefits of using it. While it seems like a convenient way to optimize your oral health, you need to gargle and spit it out, and your mouth feels clean. Some people use it as an alternative to brushing and flossing.
While there are many benefits of mouthwash, people have a few misconceptions regarding this popular antiseptic. Let’s get into it!
Misconception 1: All Mouthwash Work The Same
No, not all mouthwashes have the same purpose. There are two types of mouthwashes out in the market. One is known as the cosmetic mouthwash, and the other is a therapeutic mouthwash. Each mouthwash out there has its own set of ingredients for a specific problem. If you read the labels on all the mouthwashes, you will come across all types. Some will say they work on cavities, while others say they reduce gingivitis or help whiten your teeth.
The thing with cosmetic mouthwash is that they give a good taste in your mouth, but they don’t fight or control the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath. In addition, they do not have the required ingredients to reduce tooth decay or address gingivitis and plaque in your mouth.
Therapeutic mouthwashes have ingredients that are specific to improving your oral health. Some of this mouthwash contains ingredients that will also whiten your teeth. Keep in mind that some mouthwash is only given under prescription. Still, you can buy many types of therapeutic mouthwash over the counter.
Misconception 2: Mouthwash Can’t Be Used Too Frequently
Mouthwash seems like the most convenient option in comparison to brushing and flossing. It gives you instant fresh breath and makes your teeth feel clean. Some people might use it as an alternative to the other two throughout the day. However, some types of mouthwash should not be used often due to the ingredients they contain.
However, your mouth is a sensitive place, and most mouthwashes contain alcohol dangerous for your oral health. If you use mouthwash twice or thrice each day for an extended period of brushing and flossing, you will end up destroying your oral health. Alcohol can dry your mouth like no other, and a dry mouth is one of the leading causes of bad breath. Excess use can lead your mouth to bleed, swell and crack, along with causing severe sensitivity and discomfort.
Many alcohol-free formulas can be an excellent alternative; however, they do contain ingredients that can end up staining your teeth with a different use. One should keep in mind that using a mouthwash with too much fluoride can be harmful to your health, and you should keep it away from children under 6.
Misconception 3: Mouthwash Is The Ultimate Solution For Bad Bacteria
However, this is not true. While your mouthwash can help you get rid of harmful bacteria for a few hours, it is not a permanent solution to it. Mouthwash contains ingredients that can kill the bacteria, which leads to bad breath but not all mouthwash combat germs. Moreover, the ones that do are so strong that they can also wipe away the friendly bacteria in your mouth that helps balance out your oral ecosystem.
The truth is even alcohol mouthwash may not kill the harmful bacteria in your mouth. It combines brushing, flossing, and then mouthwash that helps you achieve good dental hygiene. Many cosmetic mouthwash products have such low alcohol concentrations that they are not strong enough to fight microbes.
So it is not recommended to use mouthwash as the only solution for harmful bacteria.
Misconception 4: Mouthwash Can Make Bad Breath Go Away
Bad breath is also known as halitosis. It is generally due to inadequate dental hygiene, a dry mouth, infections in the mouth, severe medications, or health problems. For the time being, if you use a cosmetic mouthwash, it can help mask bad breath, but it still doesn’t take care of the problem at the root.
A therapeutic mouthwash has the right set of ingredients to make the bad breath go away. Still, there are other things you should do along with using mouthwash to prevent bad breath and maintain proper dental hygiene.
There are many ways to improve your bad breath:
- Quit smoking if you are a chain smoker
- Effectively brush your teeth twice a day if you aren’t already
- Avoid strong-flavored foods (onions, garlic, sugary or spicy food)
- Flossing your teeth (at least once a day to get all the food out of those hard to reach areas)
If your bad breath doesn’t go away after trying all of these, it is best to consult your dentist in Sacramento, CA, today. They will give you a better treatment plan or product that will help with your case.
Misconception 5: There’s No Need To Floss After A Mouthwash
While it’s true that mouthwashes can get into the cracks crevices of your teeth to remove plaque and buildup better than brushing, it still doesn’t replace flossing. As mentioned above, each step is essential for good oral hygiene.
There is nothing that replaces good flossing. Flossing has many benefits, such as it helps to relax deposits between teeth and removes plaque from those areas that you cannot reach with a brush. It also helps fuel the gums, which promotes much-needed circulation and healing.
A mouthwash will only cover up the bad breath from the food deposits stuck in your teeth. Still, flossing will help eliminate the foul odor by removing the food deposits stuck in your mouth.
Misconception 6: Mouthwash Can Be Used As An Alternate For Brushing
It is one of the most common misconceptions that people have. Some people even follow this without proper knowledge of the disadvantages it can have on their oral health. Mouthwash can help you cut back on the level of bacteria, but it can’t replace brushing and flossing. A brush will do a more effective job than mouthwash alone can.
Suppose you’re traveling or trying to minimize the time it takes to get ready in the morning and are choosing to eliminate your brushing with a capful of mouthwash. In that case, it will not do you well, as a mouthwash is not enough alone for good oral health, and excess use of it can lead to other problems.
A mouthwash is usually an add-on and not a replacement for brushing and flossing. In cases where there are unique situations, like surgery, you must consult your dentist in Sacramento, CA today. They can provide you with a temporary solution, such as using a mouthwash full time before you come to your usual oral care.
Misconception 7: A Little Mouthwash Goes A Long Way
Are you one of those people who gargle or rinse for a few quick seconds and then spit the mouthwash? That is not the right way to go about it. Most mouthwashes are at their most effective when in contact with your mouth tissues for 30 seconds peruse.
While some people argue that you should use mouthwash for more than 30 seconds, it is impossible to do so as they contain healthy ingredients and sting. Suppose you have tried to challenge yourself and use mouthwash for a more extended period until it has an intense burning feeling. In that case, that does not mean that the mouthwash is working successfully. It is usually a dangerous indicator that tells that the liquid contains ingredients that could irritate your mouths, such as certain essential oils, alcohol, or peroxide.
It is essential to know that if your mouthwash hurts, it does not indicate that it is effective. Mouthwash might sting some people with sensitivities. Each mouthwash comes with its own set of instructions that you should take into consideration for best results. It is best to read the instructions and directions before using any mouthwash to know how long one should gargle with it and how many times it is supposed to be used in a day.
Misconception 8: Only Kids Need Fluoride Rinses
Many types of acids from the foods we eat and drink demineralize our teeth and cause the enamel layer to deteriorate. Fluoride is a magic ingredient that helps to fortify the enamel.
The thing will children’s teeth is that their primary and permanent teeth come in between the ages of six months to sixteen years. During this time, they must take fluoride intake to strengthen the teeth. Therefore, dentists recommend that kids use fluoride mouthwash at an appropriate age where they know how to spit the mouthwash out without swallowing it. It will do their teeth good and will help maintain healthy teeth for a long time.
Parents may also decide to have a dentist give their children fluoride treatments during their checkups and routine cleanings. However, fluoride is essential for all, not just kids. It is essential for adults as it helps prevent cavities and stops them from becoming worse as it interrupts acid production in your mouth. The acid in your mouth occurs due to how bacteria in your mouth break down sugars. It is recommended to use toothpaste with fluoride in it as well as mouthwashes to ensure healthy teeth.
Misconception 9: You Can Use A Mouthwash Without Consulting Your Doctor
A mouthwash is not a product that requires a strict prescription or is illegal without a doctor’s recommendation and is readily available over the counter. However, it is best to consult your dentist in Sacramento, CA, before altering your oral hygiene regime.
Consulting your doctor will allow you to get a better insight into the other products out there that could prove to be more beneficial for you. In detail, you will learn about the potential advantages and disadvantages or any other complications related to the product. In addition, a dentist can prescribe you a regime that will serve to be even better than this over-the-counter treatment.
Misconception 10: You Can Rinse After Using A Mouthwash
The simple answer to this is no. There is no point in mouthwash if you’re going to wash it away with water. For the mouthwash to be effective, it must remain in your mouth for a reasonable amount of time. An immediate rinse will reduce its effectiveness, and it is not recommended to do so.
If you can’t handle the stinging and it burns your mouth a lot, you might want to consider using an alcohol-free mouthwash.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know that mouthwash is not a replacement for brushing and flossing, it is also essential to understand the use of a correct mouthwash for your specific needs and goals.
If you’re thinking of switching to another mouthwash or starting to incorporate it into your daily dental regime. Ask your dentist in Sacramento, CA., and they can guide you better on what to do, considering your circumstance.